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Then the beautiful figures of a better future are around me. Still rigid, but in glorious beauty, still asleep – but the one awakening them would give the world a better face. (Ernst Barlach 1908)
So now I know in what an illusion I’ve lived all these years, I thought I was a revolutionary and was just an evolutionary. (Käthe Kollwitz, 1921)
With Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) and Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), two artists return to a cultural region, which they were passionately connected to and which has visibly influenced their artistic work. In their art-works a cultural transfer beginning more than 100 years ago is reflected, to which this exhibition project aims to build on.
What makes Käthe Kollwitz and Ernst Barlach famous artists of modernity is their unbroken plea for man in existential state. Neither Barlach nor Kollwitz ever attempted to abstract from the state of human existence, but placed it in the centre of their art and captured it in powerful images. These images are still relevant today. Both saw the task of their art in wanting to change the world from a deep humanistic understanding. The greatest achievement, however, was undoubtedly their tireless commitment to peace.